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Practical Gifts for College Grads

Updated on January 19, 2015

Practical, Money Saving Graduation Gifts

When my husband graduated from college, a close family friend gave him a drill as a graduation gift. This drill was the best, most practical gift he ever received, he tells me every time he takes it out to use it. And it is true, because we use it a lot. Everything from hanging curtain rods and building a deck, to drilling emergency holes in a window frame during a hurricane to keep our dining room from filling up with water. This drill has certainly come in handy - for the past 20 years!

This 18-volt drill by DEWALT is the #1 top selling drill on due to its great performance and price point. It would make a great, practical graduation gift for someone you know.

It made me think, what are some other practical, money saving gifts for college grads that they can use for years to come. Follow along to see what I came up with.

DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver Kit
DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver Kit

Amazon's best selling drill makes a great graduation gift, for a future of self-sufficiency!


Everyone Needs an Iron

Look sharp for job interviews, and save money too

Something everyone needs to look sharp and put together is an iron. If your grad is moving out on their own, chances are they don't already own a high performance iron. This is a necessity, in order to keep interview outfits looking crisp AND save money on dry cleaning bills.

Check out some top pick irons on and find a great one at any price point with their helpful customer reviews.

This top seller looks like a winner to me:

This Black & Decker Digital Advantage Iron has Auto Off technology, perfect for the recent grad with lots on their mind.

Want to take it one step further? The recent grad entering the workforce can always use some non-iron shirts for those times when ironing is just not an option.

BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron, LCD Screen, Gray, D2030
BLACK+DECKER Digital Advantage Professional Steam Iron, LCD Screen, Gray, D2030

A good quality iron is a thoughtful gift that will last them for years to come, and help them put their best foot forward.

Thermos style coffee maker perfect grad or college student gift
Thermos style coffee maker perfect grad or college student gift

A Coffee Maker makes a Great Grad Gift

Eliminate the Latte Factor

After long days of cramming and many all-nighters, chances are your grad has developed a caffeine addiction. Now that mommy and daddy are no longer footing the bill, help them achieve caffeine independence with a state of the art coffee maker.

We all know that making coffee at home is cheaper than buying your brew every morning. A Starbucks coffee a day will quickly add up. We know grad salaries are not what they once were. So why not help them control their Latte Factor and impart that lesson early with one of the great options below.

For here or to go? The Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer Single Serve and 12-cup Coffee Maker will help them break their Starbucks habit in no time flat.

Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way
Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way

Help them break the Latte habit with this practical coffee maker.


An Gift Card

So they can get whatever they want for the best price around!

Sometimes you just don't know what a grad needs. When that's the case, a gift card is the way to go. But what kind of gift card is best? You can't go wrong with an gift card. With almost every product under the sun on their site, Amazon always has the best price, whether you are buying electronics or home goods, clothes or sporting gear. Amazon has it, and the price is right.

Help your grad become a savvy shopper with an Amazon gift card. You can select both the amount and the means of delivery, whether you mail it to them, email it to them, or print it at home and present it to them in person.

personal finance graduation gift
personal finance graduation gift

A Book About Personal Finances

Young, Fabulous and Broke gives it to them straight!

Most parents have tried to impart some financial knowledge on their kids during the college years But the question is, how well were they listening? Its hard to take those lessons seriously when your food is covered by a meal plan and daddy is paying for Spring Break.

Once the new graduate is out on their own, they may need a book or two to refresh their memory on how to make ends meet in the real world.

Luckily, Suze has got them covered. In The Money Guide for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke she covers all the bases that an employed - or unemployed - new grad must know to get off on a sure financial footing.

Not a fan of Suze? Check out some other great personal finance books perfect for the new grad below.

Best gift card graduation gift
Best gift card graduation gift
wireless router graduation gift
wireless router graduation gift

A Wireless Router

Time for new grads to connect their network

If the grad that you are shopping for has been living in a college dorm, chances are they are used to fast, free wireless internet connections. Moving home or to a place of their own might bring the shock of having to provide their own network connectivity.

Luckily, there are wireless router options at every price point to help keep your college grad connected to the internet wirelessly for the all important task of online gaming....Er...job hunting!

Below and to the right are some top rated wireless routers available on at price points ranging from $29.99 and up.

An Amazon Gift Card is the Perfect Gift

Amazon eGift Card
Amazon eGift Card

Send a traditional gift card through the mail, or a virtual one via email. Either way, this is the gift all grads are hoping for.



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